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Old 09-25-2008, 01:53 PM
Location: Orlando
8,181 posts, read 16,155,849 times
Reputation: 49730


The only time I would go to one here is by ambulance. If it's for anything else I'm going to a Walkin Clinic.
After my husbands accident in Feb, we were told to come back in 10 days to get the staples out of his head. We got there at 1pm by 6pm we hadn't been to see anybody. We called the Walkin Clinic we knew about from the ER. They did do the staple removal, so we signed out of the ER, went to the Clinic, procedure done and were home by 6:45.

The ER system here is awful.
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:25 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
10,713 posts, read 19,047,945 times
Reputation: 14673
DO NOT go unless it is indeed an emergency, and then go by ambulance - even if you think it's something serious and you or the person you take have serious risk factors - guaranteed to be there a minimum of 5+ hrs. I agree w/the people that pointed out that some use it as a regular doctor - the kid has the sniffles...give me a break, if the kid is that sick you wouldn't be feeding the vending machines, calling all your pals on your cell, etc.

It is a sad state of affairs that those that are truly in need sometimes don't go, those that do have to go wait for hrs. upon hrs., if you are someone that is generally healthy you probably can't get an appt. w/a doc. if you haven't been sick in ages (my doc. retired several yrs. ago, the person that took over the practice considered me a "new" patient, they could see me in 2 1/2 months) - JEESH, I wouldn't have called obviously if there wasn't an issue.

ER's need a better system of making those people w/o insurance, don't speak the language and the hospital can't find someone to interpret and have something stupid/minor - WAIT. Those that might have a serious issue and understand an ER is not to take the place of other facilities and only use them out of necessity should be given priority.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:00 PM
Location: Coastal South Carolina
330 posts, read 1,065,288 times
Reputation: 140
I went to the ER 4 years ago for an extreme fever and trouble breathing. I still waited almost 4 hours before being seen. And then I was left on a gurney in the hallway while I waited for a doctor.

They sent me home with the diagnosis of Fever of Unknown Etiology and some Motrin.

2 months later a teen driver drove right into my car and the collision sent me to another ER in an ambulance.

It was that ER that discovered my chest was full of tumors and I had cancer.

I think the ambulance is definitely the way to go.

Last edited by imperieux; 09-25-2008 at 04:02 PM.. Reason: added comment
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:41 PM
Location: Catonsville, MD
2,358 posts, read 5,337,996 times
Reputation: 1670
I also concur with the "call an ambulance" suggestion. Summer before last my mom (who's 80) got extremely dehydrated and couldn't seem to get herself rehydrated. She spent several days at Kaiser getting sodium IVs, then she called me several days later pretty much incoherent. I raced to her house and she was really in bad shape. But she's a martyr and said, "I'm sure I'll be fine. Don't call an ambulance. Just drive me to the ER." So I did. Fortunately, we didn't have to wait long. Her sodium level was so low, she was 1 point away from being in a coma. She told me later that even though she said she'd be fine, she thought she was going to die that day. I underestimated how sick my mom really was. Thank heavens we got her there and the ER wasn't crowded. I was ready to scream for help if I had to. As it was, all the tests revealed kidney cancer, so we are glad she had that dehydration that day. She had her kidney removed and is now just fine.
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:48 PM
Location: in a house
5,835 posts, read 3,883,717 times
Reputation: 4890
1st time was when my son was a baby and wouldn't stop throwing up. Kaiser in Woodland Hills was great for kids.
2nd time was my miscarriage which was a nightmare because it was the SuperBowl and it took forever to find a Radiologist to do an ultrasound and then someone to read it to tell me the bad news.
Between my son and my husband, I have been there way too many times in the last few years. Long waits with sick people, not ideal.
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Old 09-25-2008, 06:02 PM
Location: Fort Worth, Texas
10,716 posts, read 31,030,974 times
Reputation: 6654
My most notable experience was with a hospital in Fort Worth Texas. They had more then one ER, based on how serious you were. Since I was brought in by a helicopter, they got to me rather quickly. Other then the idiot who thought the only way to get the ring off my finger was to cut it off, it all went rather well. I of course educated him that he could use Windex to get the ring off and managed to get him to do it quickly before my hand swelled up too much from the trauma of being slammed through the dash board.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:07 PM
Location: Moon Over Palmettos
5,975 posts, read 17,142,113 times
Reputation: 4989
Long long ago my mother, my roommate who was driving, and I were injured when our car was rear-ended while we were at a stop. My mother sustained the most injuries but since she did not have insurance at that time, she was taken by ambulance to an LA County hospital. We decided to get treatment there as well just to be near her even when we had insurance. She was admitted into ER at 7 and we were not discharged until midnight. This was Christmas Eve. The experience that I could not forget was being in a bed next to a homeless man who was dying of gangrene of his infected genitals. The stench of rotting flesh was overwhelming...even the masks that the doctors & residents were wearing did nothing to help that smell. After they provided palliative care to my mom and making sure that her spine was not affected, it became a really long waiting game. They did a good job fixing her up and testing my girl friend and I for concussions and whip lash, but it just took a very long time.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:04 PM
Location: Twin Cities, MN
638 posts, read 2,801,421 times
Reputation: 281
I've been to the ER 4 times in the past month: once for myself, 3 times with an 85 year old relative who first had a severe allergic reaction, then another serious problem and finally shingles! (I'd also taken her to 5 doctor appointments trying to figure stuff out during that same time).

Each time we were seen within 15 minutes of arriving (twice we went straight back; twice we barely sat down, and we had the one wait that was nearly 15 minutes long). The elderly relative was admitted once; otherwise her longest stay was about 2 hours whereas mine was about 4 hours (I had some eye problems and they had to dilate and re-dilate my eyes; so the longer time actually had a medical reason).

It really sounds like different areas of the country utilize their ERs differently. There are a lot of urgent cares, minute clinics, and such; and they offer the fastest care for minor illnesses and injuries here. On top of that; a lot of the MA plans here have "gatekeepers" and they help the client choose the appropriate level of care. I used to work on a triage line that did this (along with lots of other triage calls).
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:03 AM
8,161 posts, read 9,363,321 times
Reputation: 10337
I've been twice in my life, both just this year.

The first happened in the middle of the night. I went to the local ER, at a big well known city hospital in Houston. I was quite distressed - I wasn't able to breath hardly at all, and was in severe pain. They were very slow, and spent more time taking my health insurance info (all the while I'm gasping for air - not joking here!!!) than they did actually diagnosing me. I was eventually, after more than an hour of waiting, then 15 minutes of doctor time, diagnosed with a 'back strain'. I knew this was complete BS - I had no such thing! This was a lung issue! I insisted I thought they were in error, but they gave a pain prescription and sent me out the door. More interested in getting payment than actually helping me. *cough* illegal issue there maybe dot dot dot.

The very next morning, I went to a local urgent care for a second opinion. I got lucky, and got a good doctor. She said without a shadow of a doubt that I had pleurisy, which lo' and behold is a lung issue! She gave me some prescriptions and care directions, which worked great. Once I felt better, I looked the diagnosis up, and it was dead on. So my first ER experience was a very disappointing experience to say the least - the urgent care did a much better job.

My second experience was just a couple months ago. Crushing chest pain, couldn't breathe, racing pulse. This was in a local, small town hospital nearby in the area I live in. Middle of the night. Upon getting in, they immediately set up me up in a room, and I had a couple people hovering over me going over me with a fine tooth comb. The er physician was very concerned, and told me he wanted a second opinion. He got a cardiologist to come see me, and he decided to move me up to ICU and to do an emergency heart cath. Stayed a couple days. They didn't have me deal with insurance at all until that night. Waited until after the procedure was done, and then a nurse came in and helped my wife fill it out. Took all of 10 minutes.

That whole day I was treated very well, always kept in the loop, and they made sure I got the care I needed. The procedure went well, doctor was very professional. No delays, no BS. Overall I was extremely impressed.

So my two experiences proved to on both ends of the scale.
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Old 09-26-2008, 01:02 PM
Location: Branson, Missouri
7,268 posts, read 16,847,287 times
Reputation: 3683
Originally Posted by cmacf1 View Post
I went several months ago with chest pain. After checking me in, I was whisked to the back immediately. Embarrassingly, it was acid reflux . BUt the didn't take any chances at all as soon as I said chest pain.
You're a wise person.
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